• I’m not one of those girls who takes her pants off for a dope car but oh hey, these jeans sure do seem terribly constricting all of a sudden. Superb human Jesse Valadez, founder of the Imperials car club and owner of the Gypsy Rose above (’64 Impala, Detroit heavybodied craftsman finery), died over the weekend. In most bloggers’ hands, stating that this event meant they had to listen to a lot of Malo, some Delfonics, the Persuaders, and throw in a few plays of “Slippin Into Darkness” would come across as crass and jokey; since I’m me, you recognize that putting records on, my own form of mourning, was the best possible way for me to show respect. This would have worked out nicely, a perfect private little funeral in apt. 15, were it not for the coverage by local news on this story, and the focus on Gypsy Rose–LA anchors have been saying it Im-pal-a (“pal,” like friend, buddy) instead of the obviously correct Im-pal-a (“Paul”). Also on the playlist: “Duke of Earl” ’cause of the romance it just spills out of the speakers even though it’s weirdly about British royalty, and because of the Muggs connection years later. And The Elgins to bring it home, ’cause I need something with a little heartbreak in it, and then a song with a whole different feeling the next morning to take away the gloom, remind myself to dust myself off since, after all, I can still stand tall.
• When the hell is this Random Axe business going to come. Sean and Guilty provide the slightly unkempt facial hair I need from every blue-collar rapper, and Milk is their pretty, svelte friend with all the cool electrical toys. Oh and “Zoo Drugs” and “Shirley C” sound like Kool Keith song titles.
In the future, when I have a cubicle at Wax Poetics, I will ask to have this pulled from the archives so there’s no stupid bar code on it. Then on my lunch break, I’ll go to Aaron Brothers and have ’em frame it.
• 1 of the 3 best songs played on LA radio today was “Mr. Telephone Man,” produced by Ray Parker jr. (!) who just happens to have been born and raised in Detroit. (the second song was Them’s “Gloria,” a song about getting ass at midnight and longtime white-girl anthem for when we need to feel a little foxy, even if you’re 5’7″ instead of 5’4″).
• “Cutie Pie” by One Way (from Detroit) was the third best song played. It’s perfect that I heard it because of the lowrider connection and because I dorked out a little bit when I got home, looked up its history, and discovered it was co-produced by a woman! A lady! A person with hips who has an innate sense of timing and the proper application of bassline (not named Logan, I mean). Irene Perkins, I had no idea you existed and I’m sorry. Your tune is a longstanding certified banger. Nice job, mama.
• CELEBRATE BLACK HISTORY MONTH AND SAVE, flashed the Walgreens sign when I drove by this afternoon. SNICKERS BARS $0.49. This is the exact same feeling that I get from that Chrysler commercial with your boyfriend Eminem.
Whenever you see a black gospel chorus in an ad, run ’cause that’s how you know it’s emotional pandering. Just a good rule of life. Listen, nobody loves Detroit more than me–the Voice of Ruffin, Isaac Hayes’ Eldorado, the Dilla siren, Axel Foley’s jacket, the mighty superfine bass playing of James Jamerson. I do not appreciate being marketed to by that dude who made that album about working the Steps and holding hands, however. (They’re also using the instro of a song that’s 8 years old–not something from the current terrible album. Hm. If Chrysler wants to court me they should put into every commercial the fact that Marley worked in its factory in Delaware for a brief time. And even then I’d probably roll my eyes and say Welllll, it’s not like it was Dennis Brown or something; then we could talk.)
• I am a mystery to myself at times, I am an alluring sly fox of a woman, because I can’t understand why I felt the need to save this picture on my hard drive upon seeing it on the Sports Illustrated site a few months ago. I think I liked the energy in it, and Parrish is kind of cool-looking in the moment captured, but why would I save a photo of men who played for the two teams I hate? What do I care about a couple of basketball reps for Boston and Detroit, the squads that annoyed the Lakers the most during my development years? Hate on top of hate. At least one of the dudes I hate is having something bad done to him, though. This is like me posting a picture of Rawss calmly dropping Drake to the floor: though it would be nice if Ricky could get dealt with too, it’s still Drake getting knocked out! (WE DROP BOWS ON EM IN MIAMI, Rick would say as he gathers his belongings and walks out the door. The do’.)
• Ruffin and Robinson and Kendricks and 2 Williamses get it tight and right while wearing cardigans, backstage at the Apollo in 1965. (Motown in Photos: Then and Now) Today’s version would be who, exactly. WHO. WHICH SINGERS. I welcome any ideas, as they will pull me out of my “Old things are better than new things” sadness fog.
(just seemed appropriate for a post about Detroit)
• Correct and true, but I don’t know, it’s all semantics I guess. Before the sound of guts screaming into a microphone came those other sounds of guts screaming into a microphone.
Like what the fuck is this hey look at this what kinda luck is this. Shout to Harper’s mag for making my 2 hours at the laundromat all heavy with emotion this afternoon. Between the piece above (p. 15) and the collaborative poem written by early-stage dementia patients (“Sun,” p. 25 – “I guess I have to wake up earlier/Tastes like orangeade/The sun at noon is bright as fire…The sun tastes like death”), it was exceptionally pathos-filled. Right before I left apt. 15 I watched that Dilla thing and saw Badu and her beautiful wide eyes say the words, “His house was like a lab, in the basement…(and) he was definitely the scientist.” And Questo would like to remind you all that Dilla always said Keep it sloppy.
Bobby Hebb – “Sunny.” Ha, you thought I was gonna post French Montana & Curren$y’s “In The Sun.”
The instro of this is sort of a walking-down-the-street-in-a-sundress anthem, except it sort of makes you want to cry at the same time.